NEW YORK: US prosecutors have indicted relatives of former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, accusing them of trying to bribe a Middle Eastern official over the attempted $800 million sale of a building in Hanoi, reports AFP.
The 39-page indictment, unsealed on Tuesday, charges Joo Hyun Bahn, also known as Dennis, a Manhattan real estate broker, and his father Ban Ki Sang, a senior executive in a South Korean construction company. Also charged is US citizen Malcolm Harris, accused of masquerading as a go-between with the Middle Eastern official but instead pocketing a $500,000 bribe which he frittered away on personal luxuries.
Ban is a brother of the former UN secretary general, who was succeeded at the helm of the United Nations on January 1 by former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres, and Bahn is a nephew. US prosecutors allege that the international bribery conspiracy took place between March 2013 and May 2015 in relation to the attempted sale of a commercial and residential complex in Hanoi, built and owned by Keangnam Enterprises, a South Korean construction company.
The plot focused on an attempt to get an official from an undisclosed Middle Eastern kingdom to purchase the property using a sovereign wealth fund and allegedly included an attempt to contact the head of state while he was in New York for the annual UN General Assembly.
The father and son agreed to pay an initial bribe of $500,000, wired to an account in New York from South Korea in April 2014, followed by a payment of $2 million upon completion of the sale, prosecutors said.